On Saturday, along with 399 other bloggers, I attended Cybermummy 11. Prior to the event I spotted quite a few disgruntled tweets complaining that the ticket price of £100 was too expensive.
Well, first of all, I didn’t arrive in time to see Sarah Brown, mostly because I know Sarah and have met her lots of times. By all accounts she was fab though which doesn’t surprise me at all.
I’ve read the posts about Jane Bidder/Sophie King and it sounds as though she completely misunderstood what blogging is about, so perhaps she wasn’t the right speaker for this kind of event. In my experience the majority of bloggers are very clued up so patronising them is never going to go down well.
The session on making money from your blog was very useful, one of the highlights of the day. Erica and Natalie were both outstanding, they gave some fantastic advice (and there was an audible gasp in the room when Erica said how much she makes a month – who said you can’t make money from blogging?) The third speaker didn’t capture my imagination but perhaps that was just me.
Lunch was OK but I was disappointed there wasn’t coffee/tea on tap – last year I seem to remember a samovar? Maybe I just couldn’t find it.
I found the space where the brands had their stands and lunch was served slightly overwhelming; it felt a bit crowded and I didn’t really have the chance to speak to as many bloggers as I would have liked, although I did catch up with some of my favourite PRs.
The chill-out zone was a fab idea (although could have done with a few more chairs); I didn’t get my hair done but I saw some incredible results.
In the afternoon, I thought the session by Rachel and Tara was brilliant; I loved hearing about the inspiration behind Tara’s Gallery (in fact I started blubbing pretty much five minutes in); and Rachel had some fab tips for new bloggers. I felt the two girls who run the food blog were in the wrong place, because they’re not really running a blog – they’re running a website, and they made this very clear when they explained why they woudn’t be able to run any content that deviated from their core message. I’m sure a book deal won’t be far away, but it all felt a little cynical to me.
Rachel Johnson was excellent. Funny and entertaining and I agreed with everything she said.
The Crowd Sourced Keynote speeches were a little long for me this year. Last year I was in tears from start to finish and the posts were short and in some cases bitter-sweet. I also felt the room was too big – last year the intimacy was what made it work so well. But it takes a lot of guts to get up and speak to a room full of people like that so I take my hat off to all the speakers.
Finally, the drinks reception was a great chance to catch up with friends old and new, and I still didn’t get the chance to speak to everyone I wanted to speak to.
So on balance: I would say that yes, Cybermummy11 gave you a lot of value for your £100. Leaving aside all the freebies, there was some very useful talks, there was lots of ‘take home’ advice. Perhaps I’d feel differently if I didn’t live in London and was forking out for flights or train tickets as well as a hotel; but for me, considering the calibre of the speakers, and the chance to meet brands you may not normally have met, plus of course the craic, Cybermummy11 was definitely worth it.
What do you think? Was Cybermummy11 worth the money – and was there anything you think could have been done differently?